Monday 24 December 1666
Up, and to the office, where Lord Bruncker, [Sir] J. Mennes, [Sir] W. Penn, and myself met, and there I did use my notes I took on Saturday night about tickets, and did come to a good settlement in the business of that office, if it be kept to, this morning being a meeting on purpose. At noon to prevent my Lord Bruncker’s dining here I walked as if upon business with him, it being frost and dry, as far as Paul’s, and so back again through the City by Guildhall, observing the ruines thereabouts, till I did truly lose myself, and so home to dinner. I do truly find that I have overwrought my eyes, so that now they are become weak and apt to be tired, and all excess of light makes them sore, so that now to the candlelight I am forced to sit by, adding, the snow upon the ground all day, my eyes are very bad, and will be worse if not helped, so my Lord Bruncker do advise as a certain cure to use greene spectacles, which I will do. So to dinner, where Mercer with us, and very merry. After dinner she goes and fetches a little son of Mr. Backeworth’s, the wittiest child and of the most spirit that ever I saw in my life for discourse of all kind, and so ready and to the purpose, not above four years old. Thence to Sir Robert Viner’s, and there paid for the plate I have bought to the value of 94l., with the 100l. Captain Cocke did give me to that purpose, and received the rest in money. I this evening did buy me a pair of green spectacles, to see whether they will help my eyes or no. So to the ‘Change, and went to the Upper ‘Change, which is almost as good as the old one; only shops are but on one side. Then home to the office, and did business till my eyes began to be bad, and so home to supper. My people busy making mince pies, and so to bed. No newes yet of our Gottenburgh fleete; which makes [us] have some fears, it being of mighty concernment to have our supply of masts safe. I met with Mr. Cade to-night, my stationer; and he tells me that he hears for certain that the Queene-Mother is about and hath near finished a peace with France, which, as a Presbyterian, he do not like, but seems to fear it will be a means to introduce Popery.